In Western Australia, Tayla Taseff loves crossing the parkrun finish line before her dad Steve each week.
Steve pushes Tayla, 22, around Yokine parkrun in her “purple peanut” wheelchair each week.
Tayla has cerebral palsy, but she refers to it as “cool people syndrome”.
“We are very cool humans,” Tayla said.
Tayla is not wheelchair-bound and can stand and walk with assistance. While she needs help going to the toilet and with some other tasks, she communicates well and has perfect cognitive function, but her legs “just don’t work,” she said.
Tayla lives at home with her mum, dad and brother but parkrun is an activity she loves to share with her dad.
Steve started going to parkrun alone but then decided to take Tayla. Steve has done nine parkruns and Tayla six, but the purple peanut can’t get wet so they have missed a few with bad weather. Together, they are both looking forward to adding to their parkrun tallies.
“Initially he bribed me with a bacon and egg roll at the finish line. I can sometimes be a bit grumpy in the mornings, but it’s such a good community experience. We get up, get it done, then still have the rest of the day ahead of us,” Tayla said.
Tayla said parkrun was a very welcoming and inclusive environment.
“This event has given us a platform to promote disability awareness and inclusion within the fitness industry,” she said.
“It’s great for people to see someone like me doing parkrun. They might think, if Tayla can do it, anyone can. Nothing is impossible until you make it impossible,” she said.
Tayla has made plenty of friends at parkun, but none more special than Peanut the chihuahua. Not to be confused with peanut the wheelchair, the four-legged Peanut often comes to greet Tayla and jumps in the purple peanut to say hello.
Steve and Tayla have been building on the kilometres they have shared together at parkrun to do a half marathon and many other Perth fun runs. Now, they are aiming for a marathon.
“Dad was used to running free and using his arms for propulsion, but when he’s pushing me he’s got one hand on my chair and one hand free. It was difficult for him at first to get the feel of it but now he’s ok,” Tayla said.
Tayla said anyone of any ability should consider giving parkrun a go.
“I just love the community spirit of everyone who gets involved,” she said.
With current government guidelines in South Africa allowing for gatherings of up to 500 people in open spaces such as parks, we are delighted to be able to announce that some more 5k events in South Africa will be able to restart from Saturday 9 October. Given the current legal gathering limits, we won’t…
Been wondering what a parkrun looks like? Where do you go? What do you do? How do you sign up? Whether you’re joining us for the first time, or a more seasoned parkrunner that just needs your memory refreshed, we’ve put together this handy guide to everything you need to know about parkrun. …